image source, captionChloe Clem's disapproving look when she was two years old has become an internet sensation

A young girl who became an internet sensation when a picture of her went viral is now selling the original image for thousands of dollars at auction.

Chloe Clem, now 10, became an internet hit in 2013 when, aged two, her mother videoed her giving an unimpressed reaction to a surprise Disneyland trip.

The image has since become a popular meme for anyone expressing concern.

It will be sold as a non-fungible token (NFT), a way of owning the original digital image.

An NFT provides a digital certificate of ownership for the piece, and allows original versions of popular online content – such as viral memes and tweets – to be sold as if they were physical pieces of art.

In many cases the artist may retain the copyright of their work, so they can continue to produce and sell copies of it, but the buyer owns the "original" of it.

Some people compare it to buying an autographed print, and collectors have said they value the "bragging rights" of owning the original.

  • EXPLAINER: What are NFTs and why are some worth millions?

In September 2013, Chloe's mother Katie uploaded a video featuring her two daughters reacting to the Disneyland surprise.

One of the girls, Lily, started crying, she said, "but then the camera panned over and Chloe made her cute little buck-toothed side-eye face and the internet did the rest."

The video has been watched more than 20 million times, while the image of Chloe's reaction became an internet sensation.

"I opened up Tumblr and there were just pages and pages of Chloe's face," her mother told the BBC.

"It was very weird, very overwhelming. I had my family, friends sending me these memes – till this day they still send me the memes of Chloe they see on the internet."

image source, Katie Clemimage captionChloe Clem, now 10, and her mother Katie

Within weeks, a Buzzfeed article had declared Chloe "the patron saint of Tumblr" and "the queen and goddess of the internet".

Now the Utah family has decided to auction off the image as an NFT. Bids start at 5 Ethereum – a form of cryptocurrency worth roughly $15,000 (£11,000).

Ms Clem said that after learning about the NFT market, selling the meme was a "no brainer".

"It's a cool opportunity, especially if there's a Chloe fan out there who loves this meme they'll be able to own it. Even Chloe has said 'that's pretty cool' – it's a typical 10-year-old thing to say."

The market for ownership rights to digital art has boomed recently after several multi-million-dollar NFT sales.

In March, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet for the equivalent of $2.9m to a Malaysia-based businessman.

And in April, the woman featured in the so-called Disaster Girl meme sold for $500,000. Weeks later, another image called the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme sold for $411,000.

In August, however, a fan of British graffiti artist Banksy was tricked into buying a fake NFT by a hacker, off the artist's website. Luckily for him, the hacker returned most of what he paid – more than $336,000.

image source, Dave Rothimage captionThe Disaster Girl meme, featuring Zoë Roth won a photography prize in 2008 and went viral when it was posted online

Ms Clem says she would like to use any money made from the sale to help pay for her daughters' education.

"Chloe is like, 'I'd like to buy a horse, I'd like to build a Walt Disney World,' but I'd just like to put her through college," she says.

Chloe has amassed over 500,000 followers on Instagram, and has even featured in a Google advert in Brazil.

"We've been able to travel to Brazil and do all these amazing things," Ms Clem says. "[But] at the end of the day I'm just a stay at home mom with my girls."

media captionDigital-only artwork by Beeple sold for $69m (£50m)